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Gujarat HC gives state 3 mths to ensure farmers get crop insurance claim for 2017 flood loss

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Hitesh Chavda, Gandhinagar: The Gujarat High Court has ordered that farmers who suffered losses due to floods in 2017 should be paid their crop insurance claim after the state surveys those who are entitled. It has given the state three months for the same.

The order came in a petition filed by Vinod Chavda and others through their counsel Subodh Parmar and Sangram Chinnappa. The petitioners had sought that they are paid an insurance claim for crop losses that occurred after the Kharif season crop of 2017 was washed away by floods. 

The farmers were insured under the Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojana (in short “PMFBY”) and were entitled to compensation but were not paid despite several representations.

What insurance company said

The counsel for the insurance company said that the claims of some of the petitioners were sanctioned but could not be credited due to some discrepancy. 

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In the case of others, there were discrepancies in the crop insurance and the claim for loss of crop as well as the name of the village. In some cases, the company argued that the names of some of the petitioners were not available in the records with the insurance company. 

What the court said

The court said it was a matter of concern that farmers who had lost their crops on account of floods in July 2017 and who claimed to be covered under the PMFBY were not compensated by 2020. 

It further said if they were not covered under the scheme or not entitled to any compensation for any reason they ought to have been informed. It observed that one the one hand the state paid a huge premium to the insurance company and signed Memorandum of Understanding with them and on the other hand, the farmers despite claiming to have had suffered crop losses are not paid compensation. It observed that their representations are not heeded to and replied. 

It pointed out to the ‘huge correspondence’ between the state, the insurance companies and the representatives of the Central Government yet things had not been sorted out. 

The court asked the state to carry out an exercise and ensure whether or not the petitioners and others covered under the scheme have been paid their due compensation or not and to resolve the same.

It gave the state three months to get the entire exercise carried out and ensure that the farmers do not suffer if they are entitled to an insurance claim.

 

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